Kämpfer müssen laufen von Richard Staudner

Fighters must run!

Richard Staudner
Richard Staudner

The Optimizer

Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and all the rest of our role models got up early in the morning to run. For your conditioning foundation. Often deep into the fight week. 

Do fighters really need to run to build up good fitness? Does that make sense? 

I do not want to question running, but I want to put other facts and experiences on the table! 

Running is, of course, one of the important forms of exercise for building fitness. 

Whether in martial arts or other sports, it can be supportive. 

What other options do you have and what are their advantages?

Rowing on Concept2 device 

  • Involves also the arms
  • Teaches hip extension which is important for boxing
  • Trains the back shoulder which is usually weak in boxers/fighters 
  • Stresses muscles and cardiovascular system in a balanced way
  • Improves grip strength (thus impact strength)
  • strengthens the often weak lower back 
  • Improves coordination
  • Progress easily measurable (e.g. 2000m/V2max test)
  • Ideal in the foundation but also applicable in the sprint 

Airbike / Flywheel bike 

  • Involves also the arms (push and pull!)
  • High muscular load
  • Ideal in the short load range (sprint) 
  • Technically easy to learn
  • easy integration into a circuit training
  • Progress easily measurable (e.g. wattage/min)

And here still to run:

  • You love running? Then keep doing it. Even if it's just the mental run this weekend. 
  • As a professional, please don't forget to measure and progressively manage your running training. It makes little sense for your development if you run the same distance, at the same pace, in the same time, day after day.
  • Please do not forget to include sprints in your program. This exercise is difficult to replace athletically. 
  • For sprints: Warm up well, especially your hamstrings, and give your body time to adapt. For beginners, sprinting easily causes strains and torn muscle fibers. 


You don't have much time in a preparation, so I focus on the most important and effective elements. 

And for me, that's rowing and air biking, and yes, in that order. Running sprints are added on top of that. Long running sessions are not part of my planning. 


Richard Staudner

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